Reinharz Hall created to honor president emeritus
Under his leadership, 36 chairs were endowed, many buildings erected
The Brandeis Board of Trustees has voted to name Ridgewood A residence hall Jehuda Reinharz Residence Hall in recognition of President Emeritus Reinharz’s extraordinary contributions to the university over more than 30 years as an administrator and professor.
“By any measure, Jehuda transformed the university,” President Fred Lawrence said in announcing the trustees’ action. "During his nearly 17-year tenure as president, he led an unprecedented campus-wide expansion including 36 endowed faculty and staff positions, 29 new or renovated campus buildings, and 17 new research centers and institutes.”
During Reinharz’s presidency, the university raised $1.2 billion and its endowment more than quadrupled.
“Ever since my graduate school days at Brandeis, beginning in 1968, I heard about the inadequacies of student residences,” Reinharz said in acknowledging the honor. “Ridgewood was beloved, but needed major renovations, and we were able to raise the funds to create state-of-the-art residence halls there.
“I am proud to have my name attached to this residence hall,” he said, “and I am grateful to President Lawrence and the Board of Trustees for honoring me in this way.”
Born in Haifa, Israel, Reinharz immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1961. He earned concurrent bachelor's degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, a master's degree in medieval Jewish history from Harvard University and a doctorate in modern Jewish history from Brandeis.
Reinharz was a professor at the University of Michigan, where he founded the department of Judaic studies, before becoming the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis in 1982. Two years later, he was named director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and eight years later he founded the Jacob and Libby Goodman Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel. From 1991 to 1994, he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In 1994, he was named the seventh president of the university.
He is the author of more than 100 articles and 23 books, including "The Jew in the Modern World," one of the most widely used college texts on modern Jewish history. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and awards.
Reinharz currently serves as president emeritus, director of the Tauber Institute and president of the Mandel Foundation.